First, you cannot go "up the Matterhorn". The only way up there is to climb it and one does not climb it in winter. There is no public transport to the top of the Matterhorn.
However, you can go, with public transport, to (almost) the top of the Klein Matterhorn which is another, lower mountain but with great views over to the Matterhon.
We have no "pensioners" rates here... a Half Fare card, valid for one month, will give you 50% off the cost of getting to and from Zermatt from GVA and the cost of the téléphérique up and back to the Klein Matterhorn. You need to go onto the railways' site and total up the entire cost and then see what 50% of it is, plus of course the 110frs. If this is cheaper than the 100% total, then get one. Here is the link to the site
The other option is a transfer ticket which covers your transportation from your point of entry into Switzerland to a destination and then back to your point of exit from Switzerland. If you are simply going from Geneva Airport to Zermatt and then back to Geneva Airport, this ticket works. It can also be used if you are leaving from a different point or traveling elsewhere in Switzerland and then to your point of exit but all travel in between the 1st day and the last day is at full price. The transfer ticket costs about 90 pounds in 2nd class and about 145 pounds in 1st class. The trip up to the Klein Matterhorn is about 43 pounds, up the Gornergrat Railway about 53 pounds and the Sunegga funicular to Sunegga (a nice place to meet for lunch if your party has folks who are skiing) about 16 pounds.
The round trip rail cost for Geneva Airport to Zermatt is about 125 pounds in 2nd class and about 217 pounds in 1st class. The 30 day 1/2 fare card is about 75 pounds.
You have to get the transfer ticket before you enter Switzerland so you will need to order it from Swiss Rail or at your local travel shop if it proves to be the least expensive for you.
I would suggest that you probably want to take more than one trip up onto the mountains. Calculate your savings doing all three because particularly the Gornergrat and the Klein Matterhorn cable car are almost must dos! The scenery from both is just terrific.
So there you go - sit down and do your maths to see what works best for you.
O.m.g. It's a minefield! What is the 110 frs for please Hambagahle? I got a half fare price of 47 but I think that's only one way from Geneva to Zermatt it wouldn't let me put a return option in! We will only want to go up the mountain once, so it's looking like the half fare card is the cheapest, but I really don,t understand it all fully. HELP!
The 110 CHF is for a half fare card valid for one month. This gives you half price on almost all trains, buses and trams in Switzerland for one month.
With this card, you can then buy a half-price return from Geneva Airport to Zermatt for 95 CHF, and a half-price return rom Zermatt to Gornergrat for 40 CHF
>> so a total outlay of 110 + 95 + 40 = 245 CHF.
Without a half fare card, you would spend 190 CHF + 80 CHF on train tickets
>> so a total outlay of 270 CHF.
Buying a half price card (which you can do on arrival at Geneva Airport train station) will save you 25 CHF, even if you only use it for the two journeys you have mentioned.
A better option is the Swiss Card which covers your journey to and from Zermatt and gives half fare while you are there.
>> so a total outlay of 186 + 40 = 226 CHF.
Good one, swissaholic :-)
Any advance on 226, anyone ?Edited: 1:28 pm, October 28, 2012
Well, a transfer ticket would be 130 francs (but you have postage of 25 francs if you order it from Swiss Rail but I can't know the agency fee to get it in the OP's hometown) and a round trip full price ticket to Klein is 80 so that's 235 incl. postage. If the fee to buy it in Cleethorpes is less than 15 francs or about 10 pounds (or a total of about 85 pounds for the transfer ticket and fees), the transfer ticket will be slightly less than a Swiss Card.
The Swiss Transfer Ticket works out cheapest if the OP makes only one mountain journey to Gornergrat (130 + 80). To Matterhorn Glacier Paradise the cost would be 229 CHF (130 + 99). They will be there for 5 days so if they decide to make further trips they will be able to get a 50% discount the Swiss Card wherea they cannot with the Swiss Transfer Ticket.
jAgreed but the OP says they are doing just the one trip.
If I play safe and think that we might possibly have two trips up the mountains would the swiss card or the half fare card be cheapest? Also do myself and my husband need a card each? Or can we get one card and buy two tickets on it? Sorry for all these questions but we are absolute novices to it all.